Category Archives: Textile terms

Difference between Textile and Fabric definitions

Did you ever wonder what the difference between the words textile and fabric are?

Today the words are used as synonymous for textile.  However, there are subtle differences between the two in specialized usage.

We will attempt to explain.

Both the textile and fabric words are used for woven fabric.
The difference is that FABRIC has traditionally meant a woven fabric and is a general term used for clothing.  Its fibers are usually weaved, knitted, crocheted, etc.
TEXTILE is a much broader term usually applied to the entire clothing industry (ie. textile industry).  Its fibers are intertwined and can be braided, felted, twisted, etc.  Can have various connotations such as fabric of society or fabricated products.

Hope this helps!
Please let us know if you have something else to add :)



In this post, we introduce you to the fundamental unit comprising a YARN which was described in a post on 3 May ’13 (Textile Terms category).

Apologies for the late post as I was out of the country for production quality checks.


Fibers - Filament and Staple

Fibers - BCF and Staple


– tiny hairlike strands out of which yarn and then fabric are created
Whether it is a STAPLE or a FILAMENT is characterized by flexibility, quality and ratio of length to thickness


– limited or short length
– Natural:  
             ->  ranges from a few millimeters (ex. cotton linters which can be up to 2 1/2″) up to about a meter (ex. bast/plant)
             -> biodegradable over time
– Man Made:
              -> produced in similar length range, cut from extruded filaments into lengths  for subsequent processing or end use


– fiber of indefinite length
        Ex. a single unit extruded by a silk worm
– yarns of one or more filaments are referred to as Multifilament
More photos:

Fiber's cross-sectional shapes (1of2)

Fiber's cross-sectional shapes (2of2)

Intro to Bi-Weekly TEXTILE TERMS

As of this month, we start to introduce you to the language of fabrics.

A textile term will be posted bi-weekly with the definition (on the 1st of the month) and a more indepth description (2 weeks later on a same week day).  Wherever possible, the definition will be simplified without compromising its technical accuracy.

We hope that you will benefit with the terms in your fashion pursuit whether career wise or personal.


Group of fibers or filaments that are interlocked together to form a long continuous strand.
Come as thread and as yarns used for sewing garments.
– Either natural or man-made, most commonly:
                               wool, silk . . (animal – slightly elastic, breathable, warm)
                               cotton . . . . . (less elastic, stronger)                               
                               hemp . . . . . .(plant)
                       – can shrink, stain, etc. but also easy to dye
                               polyester, nylon . . 
                       – can be stronger than natural yarns.
– May be finished with wax or alternative coatings allowing for durability during sewing process and during its’ wear and tear in garment
– S and Z twist yarn:
Photos of yarns:
 Yarn twists _ DID
Kitten playing with Yarn _ DIDThread yarn _ DID